385 - David Smith The BLKSMITH


What are you doing with your time? Who are you designing for and what do they need? What do you need? When you sit down with David Smith these are the questions you have to address because he doesn't take the business of design lightly. After forging a successful freelance career as The Blksmith David left the everyday hustle for a steady paycheck with Benny Gold and then Dropbox. What did he learn? Why did he leave? What will he do next?

Talking Points

  • Learning by leaving your comfort zone.
  • Finding other designers with more experience to grow alongside.
  • The difference of designing on someone else's dime.
  • Working with a team or working alone and hitting your creative ceiling.
  • How to move on but stay in touch.
  • Becoming a self starter or following someone else's path.
  • Going from design famous to anonymous.
  • Did David start the pin game and is it #pingamestrong or #pingamewrong?
  • Analyzing and rethinking what you're producing. Is it for you or someone else?
  • Using design to leave a legacy of art that will last and mean many things.
  • Using commercial design as therapy and expression.
  • Finding the balance between design, reality, and what we project.
  • Missing the moment while we try and capture it.
  • Designing a better tech culture.
  • Knowing when you're done at your current job.
  • Workaholics in Silicon Valley.
  • What David was really up to at Dropbox.
  • Necessary traits to lead a team.
  • Maintaining your identity in design.
  • Preparing your escape pod.
  • What's next for The Blksmith.
  • Working on the balance between people and preciousness.
  • Developing a reliable product base that is practical to produce.
  • How freelancing will steal time away form what you really want to do.
  • Where the real work of identity design is.
  • Maintaining the correct state of mind while you design.
  • Convincing a client of what they need over a decade and not just the next day.
  • David Smiths initial steps in branding.
  • Is your personal style what your client needs?
  • Establishing forms and shapes before collateral pieces.
  • Teaching your clients about the tools you are giving them.
  • Researching a project so well you might not be able to pull off what you promised.
  • Implementing branding properly.
  • Learning to live in the moment.
  • Picking the best building block clients.
  • Will David Smith scale past himself and who would he hire first?